Microsoft Band 2: You must sweat the small stuff

By Money Times

Nov 02, 2015 09:03 PM EST

Microsoft has launched the second generation of the company's smart health tracker, Microsoft Band 2. Firstly announced at Microsoft's event earlier this month, the device is now available in the US store and will be available in the UK on November 19.

The Microsoft Band 2 is the follow up to the first Microsoft Band released last year. It features some new updates with upgraded design and one  additional sensor.

The rest of the band is made of a thermal plastic elastomer with dark grey color. According to Engadget, the design is much more comfortable than its predecessor. It has a smooth, round-ended bangle design.

The Band has a curved AMOLED screen that follows the natural curve of the wrist. The screen is covered with Gorilla Glass 3.

It has 11 sensors as the data collectors: the heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyro meter, GPS, ambient light detector, skin temperature monitor, UV and capacitive sensors, microphone, galvanic  skin sensor, and barometer for tracking elevation. The barometer is the new additional sensor that will measure the maximum rate of oxygen consumption (VO2 max).

The software of Microsoft Band 2, as mentioned on Mashable, is pretty intuitive and the app is filled with easy ways to stay on top of daily activities.

The users can customize what they want to see on the display. The device can show workout suggestions and monitor activity history, including the user's peak and resting heart-rate data.

It has a sleep cycle monitoring which will show how much the users have slept. It has a relatively decent battery life of 48 hours.

It also has a feature to show the user's recovery period after a workout. The GPS tracking on the device enabling reference on travel even when the users leave their phones at home.

The users can also load pre-set workouts from brands like Gold's Gym and Shape magazine on to the Band and even customize their own workout in advance.

As a smart device, Microsoft band 2 enabling the users to view emails, calendar entries and receive text and social media notifications. It will buzz if a user gets a new text message or incoming phone call.

For the connectivity, Microsoft Band 2 has Bluetooth 4.0 that will enable the users to sync the data to the Microsoft Health mobile app. Unlike Apple Watch, according to The Verge, Microsoft Band 2 welcomes more health-tracking app from the devices with other OS.

The device works with Windows Phone 8.1 update or later, iPhone: 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6 Plus, iOS 8.1.2, and Android 4.4 or later phones with Bluetooth.

The Microsoft Band 2 priced at $249 and available on Microsoft's official site and Amazon.

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